TIL thorium can be used as a fuel source in nuclear power by a process known as the thorium fuel cycle. Compared to uranium, thorium has greater abundance, superior physical and nuclear properties and reduced production of radioactive elements. It’s also much harder to make a nuclear weapon with it.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium_fuel_cycle

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  1. Thorium reactors are much harder to build and consequently much harder to build *safely*. There also isn’t a lot of data on thorium reactors on an industrial scale so who knows what kind of unforeseen issues we’ll have to work out to make it adequate for practical use. As any good engineer would tell you, going from theoretical science to real world application is definitely not an easy road.

    Also, it’s harder to make a bomb from thorium reactors but not *much* harder. You only need to wait like 25 days or so for some half life and you’ve got yourself nuke material.

  2. In fact there’s so much of the stuff humanity would probably never run out. Why aren’t we using this for power across the world. Seems like it’d solve all our energy problems.

  3. Not an expert, but it seems like there’s also problems with thorium vs uranium. Namely processing the fuel and handling the byproducts. Part of what makes it less likely to be used for weapons creation is it more agressively decaying and putting out gamma radiation.

    Also, considering there’s a stigma around nuclear power in general, trying to replace current reactors with thorium ones is impractical.

  4. I seem to recall a scientist who was involved in developing Thorium Reactors saying one of the reasons they didn’t get much funding was precisely because they were so difficult to weaponise.

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